Know Your Spirits: 6 Places That Know Their Gin
Image courtesy of Artesian
Did you know? Gin started out in the Middle Ages as an herbal medicine, but today, we like to enjoy the juniper juice as a spirit – whether mixed in a cocktail or over rocks with a dash of lime. Hong Kong has a plethora of establishments where one can while away the hours with an array of libations – here are five places we like to enjoy our gin-based drinks.
ABERDEEN STREET SOCIAL
Why: This may very well be one of our favourite after-work watering holes: relaxed downstairs bar area, a variety of tipples on offer, and small plates to share (don’t worry, heartier dishes can also be ordered.) We may have accidentally splurged on a dozen G&Ts one evening – which was shared with a group of friends, of course.
Where: Aberdeen Street Social, PMQ, G/F, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central; +852 2866-0300
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun, 11:30am–12:00am
Our Pick: Bloody English – Sipsmith gin, tomato juice, ‘Full English’ spice mix, lemon, Bristol cream sherry, egg on toast.
Why: They take their drink seriously here, as an award-winning bar concept hailing from London. In addition to signature cocktails from the London venue, look out for their bourbon creations and gin specialities, fashioned by bar manager Rajendra “Rush” Limbu. It’s easy to spend hours here, especially with their tempting menu of snacks (hello, “posh chips” with truffle oil and parmesan.)
Where: Artesian, The Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 2132-7898
Opening Hours: Sun to Thu, 11:00am–1:00am; Fri to Sat, 11:00am–2:00am
Our Pick: Luv n’ Dear – Monkey 47 Gin, elderflower, cranberry bitters, sour mix
Why: Other than being located in the same building as Tatler Towers, gin and tonics are a big thing here, with specific garnish and tonic water pairings that beautifully complement the specific botanicals of each spirit.
Where: Catalunya, G/F, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai; +852 2866-7900
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 12:00pm–2:30pm, 6:00pm–11:00pm; Sat to Sun, 12:00pm–4:00pm, 6:00pm-11:00pm
Our Pick: Any of their Catalan gin and tonic combinations
LE PORT PARFUME
Why: Granted there is more of a focus on wine here, we love the buzzy French bistro atmosphere. No frills, nothing fancy – just a casual seafood-focused restaurant that doubles as a quick stop for a tipple. There is a succinct cocktail offering, but the often high-priced Monkey 47 gin served with tonic can be had for just HK$95.
Where: Le Port Parfume, Shop C, 6-10 Kau U Fong, Central; +852 2824-3018
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun, 12:00pm–10:00pm
Our Pick: Monkey 47 gin with tonic
Why: Excellent libations are on offer here, crafted by Giancarlo Mancino (formerly of Otto e Mezzo). The bar bites are also worth a try if you’re looking for a nibble – you can hardly go wrong with Philippe Orrico’s cuisine.
Where: On, 29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central; +852 2173-8100
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun, 11:30am–late
Our Pick: Copse Rivever #7 – Ransom Old Tom Gin, lemon and lime instant pressed, Frangelico, kummel, lavender sugar tea, lavender bitters
PING PONG 129
Why: It’s all about gin and tonics at this trendy Spanish-style bar, with an exhaustive list of gin consisting of no less than 50 labels, ranging from Monkey 47 to dry gins from London, and Gin Mare.
Where: Ping Pong 129, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun; +852 9158-1584
Opening Hours: Tue to Sat, 6:00pm–late; Sun, 6:00pm-12:00am
Our Pick: It’s just about choosing the garnishes you like – we enjoyed all the G&Ts we sampled
Know Your Spirits is a new HongKongTatler.com series that explores the city’s bar scene.